Animal Shelters

A portable shelter is a great way to protect your livestock and ranch equipment. They’re a very economical option and in contrast to large, permanent buildings, they offer portability and ease of assembly.  We found an outgoing and friendly retailer in Barn World that offers a great selection of these huts.  We are detailing their product line as an example of how useful the animal shelters can be for as an animal shelter or equipment barn.

Calf Hut Animal Shelter


Animal Shelter

Calf Hut

Animals Shelters and Livestock Huts

Portable animal shelters allow for maximum and continuing flexibility when protecting your livestock and equipment.  The portability and endless size options offer infinite options for designing your farm and ranch layout.

Most animal huts are made from steel and the product lines carried at Barn World are available with enclosures, doors for the sake of convenience when raising livestock, bucket holders and bottle holders.

The front and back of the shelters come with many options.  The front entrance may be left wide open, may be partially closed with an immovable wall that is fixed in place to cover half of the entrance, or there is also an optional door.  It is especially helpful in shielding animals from windy conditions and allows a reprieve from the elements.

The swinging doors allow for a complete closure of the front of the hut to provide privacy for an animal in need of seclusion or if you wish for complete protection from the elements.


Animal Hut Front Door and Enclosure


Animal Hut front door and enclosure

Animal Hut Front Enclosure Only below

Animal Shelter front enclosure only



Small Animal Shelter

The small huts are typically 4-1/2’ or 7-1/2’ long in width. Unlike the larger animal shelters, they come pre-assembled and have the available front enclosure option and allow for the addition of a swinging door.  Extremely popular with pig and hog operations, they make great farrowing shelters.

These small shelters are 3’10” in height and are extremely light for their size at only 145 lbs.  This lightweight feature allows for great mobility and provides many options for the use of this small building.   Being so light, they should be anchored to the ground and this size actually comes with three anchors;  one in the back and two in the front to make them a permanent solution until you’d like to move them for another use.

Moving the shelters to another location or creating a different design is a simple process and is easy to do.   You can fit almost 15 in a full size pickup and setup is quick and stress-free.

Ostrich Shelters and Emu Animal Shelter

The slightly larger huts are ideal for large birds.  They also come pre-assembled and can be made to order in any 7’ length, 7’ being the shortest while these sections may be added to make them as long as you like.  The widths of the shelters are available in 8’, 12’ and 14’ and offer numerous uses.  Ideal for almost all your livestock, these taller huts are especially handy for large birds and llamas.

 Ostrich Animal Shelter for Emus too

Although they don’t come pre-assembled, they are simple to put together.  A quick two hours are all that’s needed to get the building together.  To increase the portability of these slightly larger shelters, they come with 4×4 skids so you may move them at your will allowing for changing designs to provide maximum protection from the elements and allow for different setups as you needs change.

Large Animal Huts and Car Ports

The largest animal shelters are in widths of 8’, 10’, 12’ and 14 feet.  They are also available in any lengths in increments of 7 feet.  These are not pre-assembled like the smaller shelters yet they still only take two to four hours to assemble depending upon the length of the building.  These sheds also come with the 4×4 skids if desired for increased portability.

The 14’ wide hut is quite roomy and will easily accommodate a full size pick up.  This wide building is extremely useful for storing equipment out of the elements, using as a workshop and of course as a livestock shelter.  The large vents shown in the picture below open wide and allow optimal ventilation during the summer months.

Carport is portable too



This is a the 14’ shelter, shown below with the back vents open

Animal Hut Rear Vents

Portable Animal Shelters are great for many uses

It is important to note that these steel buildings are very light for their size making it necessary to anchor them to the ground.  Due to varying soil conditions, anchors are not included with all sizes, but we strongly recommend that they be secured to prevent movement.

We found the galvanized steel construction to be very durable and the heavy-duty corrugated steel reinforcements and angle irons frames to be robust.  These buildings shine in all weather conditions and are a great animal shelter as well as equipment hut.

For more information or questions, please contact the retailer.  They have a large selection of livestock supplies, hay feeders and even cattle guards.

They may be reached at (720) 238-2190 or at




There are many things that need to be considered when raising livestock for profit.  The most important of which is to make sure that all your cattle are in a good health and have access to the proper foods.

Healthy Animals

Taking care of cattle is a labor of love and you must make sure that all in your herd have the right vitamins and nutrient to ensure healthy and profitable animals. This includes and demands that they have a steady supply of the correct minerals, supplements, feed and water available every day. With daily monitoring, you will be able to chart their progress and predict and a market weight fairly accurately. This also enables you to keep a close eye on the overall health of your animals.

Grain Bins for Feed Storage

To ensure that your cattle are getting healthy grain and feed, you must store it correctly. To ensure profitability, you will have to maintain it in bulk. Large price discounts may be acquired when buying in bulk and is the only way to provide a consistent supply of food.

To provide proper storage for large amounts of grain and allow for constant access, large bulk feed bins or grain bins will be necessary. They will maintain the quality and safety of the grains during storage and will not only prevent the cattle from eating spoiled grain, but also help your business maintain profitability. However, you still need to make sure the grain bin is properly built to keep out moisture, bugs and other pests that will try and get to it before your herd can.

Cattle Guards

Also necessary for efficient ranching are a farm favorite, the cattle guard. Designed to keep your cows from escaping and ‘roaming the range’ on their own, these hassle free Texas gates allow easy access to your land and animals while keep your livestock at home.

Raising and caring for cattle can be a rewarding experience, both financially and personally. That is why this kind of business requires a complete focus on the health and well-being of both creature and man. Only by providing a safe and healthy environment will this be possible. Be sure to give your cattle all the needed supplements they need to grow successfully and to produce healthy offspring for generations to come. There are many factors that need to be considered before entering the cattle business and a dedication to health of your herd is paramount if you want the business to be successful and profitable.


To read more about raising livestock, grain bins, and cattle guards, please visit our website:

by Ashley Hay |

Bulk grain bins allow farmers to store mass quantities of feed for their livestock. Bulk grain bins can hold more than a ton of feed, which allows farmers to stock up on supplies for their animals and reduce costs. Feed can be cheaper when it you purchase it in large amounts. Using a bulk grain bin requires little effort and is easy to maintain.

Poly Dome Bulk Bins are the perfect choice for handling highmoisture corn, soybeans, and other granular materials. To read more go to:


1. Open the lid of your bulk grain bin by lifting it up.

2. Slide the cover back to reveal the opening to the grain bin.

3. Pour the feed into the opening of your bulk grain bin.

4. Close the lid to your bulk grain bin by pulling it back over the opening and laying it back down.


To continue reading about grain bins, feed bins, and small bulk feed bins, visit our website:

Knowing a horse’s weight is absolutely vital to so many aspects of equestrian maintenance– medication dosage, feed supply, selling, optimal racing, etc. Unfortunately, these massive animals don’t weigh themselves. However, there are several scales on the market designed to weigh horses (and other livestock, if need be) with both accuracy and ease. They provide more precise results than a weigh tape. They’re a great investment, particularly for larger establishments.

It is vital that your horse scale is designed to be as animal friendly as possible. Any scale you plan to weigh your animal with should have the ability to measure weight even as your object is moving. After all, since you cannot guarantee that a horse will remain still for even the brief duration it takes to weigh something, a scale that fails to incorporate this feature will render itself useless through its inability to provide accurate results.

Additionally, the overall design of the scale should be as unobtrusive as possible. Look for scales that have an ultra-low platform; it will make loading the horses easier. Consider also scales that operate quickly (under five seconds) and with as little noise as possible. These features will help avoid any negative reactions from the horse during the weighing process. Some manufacturers offer scales with built-in railings. It’s not an essential feature, but it can help you gain additional control over the animal while you’re weighing it.

Another aspect that lends a scale animal friendliness is the overall design. Considering the weight and wear your scale will experience, it should be constructed of welded heavy duty metal, multiple load cells, ideally made from stainless steel, and no moving parts. A high quality scale constructed like this will prove shock resistant, a definite asset when you’re dealing with several hundred pounds of shifting matter. Plus, the majority of scales are often easy-to-clean and water resistant. On this note, you should steer clear of scales that feature some sort of paint coating since the results are bound to be negative (e.g., chipping, pollution, and inaccuracy). Most scales also prove safe for outdoor use and storage.

Of course, like any scale, horse scales should also be user-friendly. For starters, this means a clear LCD display. Most equine scales have a large display that you can either hang on to or mount to an included swivel hook for easy, panoramic viewing. The scale should also offer you the chance to make the most of its digital capabilities, meaning you can connect to an Ethernet plug, memory card, or USB for easy data transmission and system integration. Likewise, a scale that reaches its full digital capacity will provide you with either automatic or one-time calibration. Since most equestrian weighing occurs outside, it’s also useful for your scale to be mobile and power source free, with rechargeable batteries. Finally, to ensure that the scale is user-friendly, make sure it is high capacity and easily operated by just one person.

As with any scale, horse models are no exception to demanding the best accuracy possible. The requirements specific to horse scales help guarantee these standards are consistently met.


Visit our website:, for more information about cattle scales, horse scales, and hog scales.

by Sharyl Stockstill |

Fresh grain and hay are crucial to livestock health. Using a hay and grain feeder reduces waste and contamination by keeping the feed off the ground and in a position where it is less likely to be contaminated by dust and defecation. carries a wide selection of corner stall hay feeders. Visit us at:

Things you will need

  • Feeder
  • Pencil
  • Drill

Mounting instructions

1. Choose a feeder that does not have sharp edges. This will reduce the possibility of injury if the animal kicks or spooks while in the barn.

2. Find a suitable location in your stall. The ideal location will be easily accessible to both you and your animal. It should not be near the water trough; this will keep the water from being contaminated with grain dropping from the animal’s mouth

3. Hold the feeder against wall and mark mounting hole locations with a pencil. Vets recommend mounting the feeder in the horse stall as low as possible to mimic natural browsing. Beware of mounting too low, however, as the risk of contamination from defecation will increase.

4. Drill pilot holes in the stall wall using the drill. This will make mounting easier.

5. Hold the feeder in position and use bolts to mount the hay and grain feeder in your stall. Tighten the bolts with the wrench or ratchet until the feeder is secure.

Tips & warnings

  • Clean the feeder between feedings by disposing of leftover grain and hay. Wipe with a dry cloth to remove any dust or debris.
  • If there is another stall on the other side of the wall to which you are bolting the corner hay feeder and you do not want the bolts and nuts poking through, use lag bolts that are shorter than the wall’s thickness; these bolts are like heavy-duty screws and do not require a nut.


Visit for further information about how to install a corner hay feeder, hay feeders, and horse stall hay feeders.

You’ve been putting off replacing your worn and torn saddle pad, but the time has come to retire the tired old pad, relegating it perhaps to a new life as a bed for your farm dog. You pick up a copy of the latest horse supply catalog and are immediately confused and overwhelmed by the many different choices of saddle pads now available. You want to purchase the pad best suited for your horse; but it is hard to decide which type of pad is preferable. What material should you choose? What shape? You toss the catalog back onto the table and walk away aggravated and perplexed. It shouldn’t be this hard!

Before making that purchase, it is good to understand the purpose of the saddle pad: to provide your horse comfort and cushioning for the saddle, to prevent dirt, sweat, or other debris to accumulate on your horse’s back, and to remove moisture and heat. The conformation of your horse’s back also comes into play when selecting the best pad.

One general rule to always remember: No saddle pad is going to correct the problems and pain caused by an ill-fitting saddle. Always make sure your saddle properly fits your horse. Some folks will add an extra pad under the saddle, thinking this will make the saddle fit better; however, this only compounds the problem much like wearing an extra sock in an already too-tight shoe. Keep in mind that at first a new pad under an ill-fitting saddle will appear to work well; however, it does not take long for the pressure points to return and cause soreness in your horse’s back.

Saddle pads are constructed from several different materials. The most common saddle pad, and least expensive, is a heavy cloth pad with a fleece bottom. The fleece may be synthetic (man-made) or natural (wool). Fleece pads are superb for wicking away moisture. Both synthetic and wool fleece pads need to be cleaned regularly to keep dirt and sweat from accumulating within the fibers and breaking the material down. Synthetic fleece normally has a longer service life than wool fleece pads.

One step up from the fleece pad is the felt (compressed wool) pad. Felt provides good shock absorption, as well as the moisture wicking ability of the wool. Felt pads keep your horse’s back cool and dry as it has a sponge effect of pulling sweat into the pad. Felt pads clean up a little easier than fleece pads.

In recent years, saddle pad technology has introduced neoprene, foam, and gel saddle pads. These pads can be a little pricey, but they do have some good attributes, such as shock absorption and letting air move easily to cool your horse’s back. Easy cleaning and stability are an added bonus. These pads can be hosed off with water and allowed to dry. Saddles do not slip easily when they rest on these pads. Gel pads provide extra shock absorption for your horse. Sometimes the new technology couples with the old, and you can find neoprene or foam pads with fleece or felt.

The conformation of your horse’s back will define the best shape a saddle pad should have to provide an ideal fit. If your horse has low or mutton-chopped withers, choose a normal saddle pad, one without build-ups or inserts. A round-skirted, contoured pad would best fit a horse with a short back and high withers. If your horse has a short back, choose a round-skirted saddle pad. A high-withered, long-backed horse would be more comfortable with a built-up, contoured or cut-out pad, which are all designed to relieve pressure in the withers area.


See for more information about choosing the right saddle saddle pad, saddle pads, and wool saddle pads.

Many horse owners are diligent about their mount’s nutritional needs. They search for the right combination of forage, grain, and supplements. The result, they hope, is a horse or pony that lives healthier, runs faster, works longer, and moves sounder. But there is more to your horse’s health than the perfect diet. In fact, how your horse is fed can influence his health almost as much as the types of foods he eats.

Types of equine feeders

There are a variety of horse feeders and horse hay feeders available. Hay racks, mangers, feed bins and bags, concentrate feeders, and more are each designed to help your horse get the nutrients and variety he needs for a healthy life. Each style of feeder has its advantages. Some, like wall feeders, elevate food to help prevent fecal, dirt, and bedding contamination. Others, such as hay bags, are perfect for use in trailers while traveling to competitions or shows.

In you can get different types of hay feeders, from feed bins to round bale feeders to portable ones like the one in the picture. Visit us today!

But care needs to be taken with all feeder types. Hay bags that are hung too low, for instance, can tangle your horse’s feet when empty. Similarly, metal concentrate feeders can wear over time and the resulting sharp edges can cut your horse’s neck, chin, tongue, or lips. However, it is the height at which most of these feeders are installed that poses the greatest health risk for your horse.

Hay racks, suspended concentrate feeders, and others are often installed above your horse’s withers. This helps prevent him from becoming tangled in the feeder or wounded by its components should he panic while in the stall. But when feeders are elevated to this height, horses are forced to reach upwards to obtain their food. This posture causes an increase of inhaled dust and hay particles, which can cause respiratory distress. It also puts unnecessary strain on your horse’s neck. Worse, this position can cause your horse to choke, may contribute to colic, and helps decrease the amount of nutrients your horse obtains from his food.

The natural feeding posture

Wild horses graze vast grass and pasturelands for food. As a result, most of their food is consumed in a heads down position. Floor-level feeding mimics this natural posture and has many health benefits, including:

Slowed consumption – Horses are more relaxed while eating off the ground. As a result, they take smaller mouthfuls of food, more thoroughly chew it, and better mix it with saliva, which helps reduce the risk of choking and impaction colic.

Improved nutrition – Since horses chew more and the hay or grain mixes better with saliva, food is better prepared for breakdown in the digestive tract. As a result, more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are absorbed from the food.

Reduced irritants – Your horse inhales less irritants when he eats with his head down. He also reduces the risk of irritants falling into his eyes. A lowered head also promotes airway drainage, which helps flush out any inhaled dust or hay particles.

Encourage safe floor-level feeding

The best way to encourage your horse’s natural feeding posture and promote better health is to feed him at ground level. However, your horse’s health can be compromised if hay or grain is simply placed on the stall floor or ground where it can mix with waste, sand, and parasite eggs. Instead, use a ground-level feed tub to help protect your horse’s food from contamination and promote a more natural grazing posture.

To further protect your horse from insect and parasite eggs, use an appropriate insect control and dewormer regimen. Also keep in mind that the best feed pans are constructed of durable, yet flexible, crack- and chew-resistant reinforced rubber. This helps prevent injury should your horse become agitated while in the stall or run-in shelter, but withstands years of use for added protection to your pocketbook.

If you still prefer to elevate your horse’s food with a wall feeder, install the feeder at a lower height to ease access for your horse and retain more of a natural feeding posture. Also, look for designs with smooth, rounded edges and reinforced mounting holes for added safety.

Of course, the simplest way to encourage ground-level feeding is by offering your horse access to an appropriate lush pasture or paddock. Thankfully, today’s economical electric fence kits and accessories permit you to build a pasture or paddock that suits all of your horse’s grazing needs.


Visit our website:, to learn more about equine hay feeders, horse hay feeders, and horse hay racks.

The most accurate way to measure the weight of a pig is to use a specialist pig weigh or hog scales. However, these can be expensive and if you only have a few pigs to weigh and a high degree of accuracy is not necessarily needed, we explain how to obtain a good estimate of a pigs weight using only a measuring tape and a calculator.

You will need a measuring tape similar to those used by tailors. The formula is not exact, but it comes within about three percent of the actual weight. The formula is as follows:

1. Girth measurement take the heart-girth measurement. Your measuring tape needs to go around the body just behind the front legs and over the shoulder area. As an example for you I will use the measurements of Flower. Her girth measurement is 43 inches.

2. Square the result (multiply the measurement by itself). Example: The measurement was 43 inches. 43 X 43 = 1,849.

3. Length measurement. Measure the length of your pig. Start at the top of his or her head right in between the ears and measure down to the start, or base, of the tail (not the end of the tail). Flower’s length is 39 inches.

4. Girth result x length: Take the girth measurement result (in the example above this was 1,849) and multiply that times the length of your pig. In our example this would be: 1,849 X 39 = 72,111.

5. Weight calculation: Divide this result by 400, and you’ll have a weight accurate to within about three percent. In our example: 72,111 divided by 400 = 180 pounds. Factoring in the 3% variance (5.4 pounds), this means Flower weighs between 174.6 and 185.4 pounds.

Credit for this formula goes to the Old Farmer’s Almanac 1993.


Click here:, for more information about hog scales, cattle scales, and hog feeders.

This section is from the book “The Stable Book: Being A Treatise On The Management Of Horses”, by John Stewart. Also available from Amazon: The Stable Book.

Ordinary horse hay racks are made of wood; they are wide as the stall, have the front sloping, and the back perpendicular. Racks of this kind are giving way to others made of cast-iron, and much smaller. As far as the horse is concerned, it matters little whether iron or wood be used. It is said that his lips are apt to receive injury from splinters which occasionally start on the wood; but this happens very rarely. Iron racks are at first more costly; but in the end they are the cheapest. They require no repairs; at the expiration of ten years they are nearly as valuable as at the beginning, and they are easily made clean, a matter of considerable importance when infectious diseases prevail. They are never well made. The spars are placed too far apart, and they all slope too much in the front. It would be easy to make them closer and of a more suitable form.

Feed Bunks - 12'. This sturdy steel frame bunk has an electro-galvanized metal hopper that stands up to tough use. To see our complete gallery of hay feeders, please go to

The face of the rack ought to be perpendicular; in order that the hay may always lie within the horse’s reach, the back of the rack ought to form an inclined plane. The spars ought to be round, and two inches, apart. For fast-working horses, the rack is large enough if it hold seven pounds of hay. The largest size need not hold more than double or treble this quantity. The bottom of the rack should be eighteen or twenty inches from the top of the manger. The best situation is midway between the partitions. But in this place, a perpendicular front, flush with the head wall, can not be obtained without recesses.

In reference to situation, hay-racks may be termed front, side, and under racks. The first is that which is elevated on the wall in front of the horse; the second, that which is placed in one corner; and the third is on a level with the manger.

The Front-Rack usually has a sloping face; and sometimes the inclination is so great, and the rack so high, that the horse has to turn his head almost upside down every time he applies to it. When the stable is not sufficiently wide, or the walls sufficiently thick, to admit of a perpendicular face, the front of the rack must be inclined; but the inclination need not be great. A rack having the face upright and the back sloping When the spars are of iron, this is the best rack. It answers perfectly well for all kind of horses. It is thirty inches wide, twenty-four deep, and nineteen from front to back. The spars are round, one and a quarter inches thick, and two and a half inches apart. Each rack should have a ring at bottom for securing the horse’s head. When tied to the spars he is apt to bend or break them. Small racks are not good for large horses, though suitable enough for fast-workers.

The Side-Rack may be placed in either corner, on the right or on the left; but when filled from the stable, it is most convenient on the left side. When made of wood, the side-rack usually has upright round spars, arranged in a semi-circular form. The back is an inclined plane. The bottom on the outside is boarded up, so that the horse may not injure his head against the corner. This is the best kind of rack for narrow and low stables. It takes nothing off the width of the stable and allows the horse to stand quite within the stall when eating his hay. The front might easily be made of cast iron; the back and bottom of wood; or the inclined back might be dispensed with, and it would thus be both cheap and durable. As usually made, it has all the awkwardness of the old-fashioned sloping front, and it is gener ally too small.

The Under~Rack is sometimes nothing but a large deep manger, having a few spars across the top, placed so far apart that the horse’s head can pass between them, and let his muzzle to the bottom. This is used when the stable is too low to admit an elevated rack. It is a poor substitute, troublesome to fill, and permitting the horse to waste his hay by scatter ing it among his litter, and spoiling it with his breath. Sometimes the under-rack differs not in form from the ordinary wooden one. It is three feet long, occupying half the breadth of the stall, and having its upper border level with the manger, which occupies the other half of the stall. It is sometimes sparred across the top, but most usually open; its front is sparred, sloping, and reaching to within a foot of the ground The object of this is to permit the horse to eat while lying. Few appear much inclined to take advantage of the contrivance. Some do; but most horses eat what they want before lying down. It allows the horse to breathe upon his hay, and to throw it on the ground; and when sparred at top, he can not get to the bottom of the rack, except from the front, and the front he can hardly apply to without, lying down.

The under-rack, though generally made of wood, and with an inclined face, is sometimes of cast-iron, and upright.

In some stables there are no racks. The hay is thrown on the ground, or it is cut and placed in the manger. The first is a wasteful practice, and not common; the horse destroys more hay than he eats. The second, that of cutting the hay into chaff, is advisable only under certain circumstances. At times hay is so cheap, that the quantity saved does not pay the cost of converting it into chaff. Whether that be the case or not, it is proper in large establishments to have racks in some of the stalls. This will be understood by referring to the article on Preparing Food.

The usual mode of filling the hay-rack is none of the best. When the loft is over the stable, as it always is in towns, the hay is put into the rack by a hole directly over it communicating with the loft. For certain reasons these holes ought to be abolished, and in a great many stables they are. The moist foul air of the stable passes through them; it mingles with the hay and contaminates it. The dust and the seed which are thrown down with the hay, fall upon the mane, into the ears and the eyes, and annoy the horse as well as soil him. Hence, he learns a trick of standing back, or breaking his halter; and horses have been seriously injured by the hay-fork slipping from the hand of a careless groom and falling upon the head or neck. There should be no communication between the loft and the stable. The hay can be rolled into a bundle and put into the rack from the stable. It can be thrown in at the top. The upper spars of low racks, when they have any, should be fixed to a frame opening on hinges; it saves the time consumed in thrusting it through the spars.

The other racks are all quite open at top, and the hay is thrown in by a fork.

The most common method in America is, to construct the barns with a space or hall of about fourteen feet in width between the stalls which face each other, and running through the whole width of the building. The hay is then thrown from the loft on to the hall floor, and thence into the racks This space acts as an admirable ventilator, and is otherwise useful for a variety of purposes. The floors of the lofts over the stables are made so close, either by double layers of boards or a single layer grooved and tongued, as to prevent the seed and dust falling on to the horses below. We think this arrangement better than any we saw in England. In cities, however, in consequence of the high price of building lots, this plan can not so well be adopted. Yet this need not prevent stables being made much higher between joints than is usually practiced, and giving windows and cross gauze-wire holes sufficient for ventilation, constructed on the same principle as the respirator for the human subject.


Visit for further information on horse hay racks, hay feeders, equine hay feeders, and other equestrian supplies.

A cattle guard is a series of parallel metal bars which is installed in a roadway over a ditch to prevent ungulates from escaping a fenced area. The parallel bars are designed to be wide enough so that hooves and legs will fall through, while cars can drive over them safely, although they do need to slow down. Most hoofed animals are smart enough to recognize the potential hazard of a cattle guard, and they will avoid them: in some cases, animals will even avoid lines painted on a busy road to resemble a cattle guard. Cattle guards are in use all over the world as a practical alternative to gates, which must be opened and closed every time someone wants to pass through.

The concept of a cattle guard was originally conceived of in the American west by the railroads, which constantly had problems with free ranging cattle getting onto the train tracks and causing accidents. In 1913, an inventor named William J. Hickey recognized the potential uses for a cattle guard, with cars taking over America, and filed a patent for his invention, which was specifically developed for use in roadways. Two years later, the United States Patent and Trade Office approved the patent.

Today, the cattle guard is used all over the world, especially in nations where animals graze public lands which are split by roads. Prior to the introduction of the cattle guard, anyone walking or driving across a fence line would have had to open a gate and close it behind them: while this task is not too onerous for walkers, it can be irritating to drivers, especially on long trips through public lands. The cattle guard is designed to survive in the roadway for several years: it is laid flush with the road and treated with anti-rusting agents to prevent it from rusting out or being jostled by cars. Fence inspectors will periodically check the cattle guards as well, to make sure that they are still safe and usable.

Some animals can figure out a way around a cattle guard: sheep, for example, have been known to roll across cattle guards of up to three feet (one meter) across. Horses and cattle sometimes attempt to jump them, although usually the width of the cattle guard is enough to deter this idea. If a farmer does need to move livestock over a cattle guard, a sheet of wood can be thrown down over the bars for the animals to walk over, and if a cattle guard needs to be removed from the roadway altogether, the bars are lifted and the ditch is filled before that section of the road is resurfaced with fresh asphalt.


See for more information about cattle guards, HS20 cattle guards, boxed cattle guards, steel cattle guards, flat cattle guards, and much more!